Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access

The DNS Diversity and Inclusion (DI) Committee officially launched in 2020 in an effort to increase the awareness and competency of the DNS leadership team and members as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion.  The committee is actively working to create and deploy leader and member training as well as conduct a thorough analysis of DNS operations to identify and address implicit bias, barriers to member participation, and opportunities for growth and improvement.  Doing so will support the overarching mission of DNS as well as the Academy. 

Committee Members


Christina M. Rollins, MBA, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND, CNSC
(past chair)

Christina M. Rollins, MBA, MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC, FAND is a past chair of DNS, currently serves as a commissioner with the Commission on Dietetic Registration and was recently appointed as the DNS DI Liaison (2021-2023). She is passionate about creating a fair and equitable working environment where nutrition practitioners from all backgrounds can thrive and build the brand of the registered dietitian nutritionist as the nutrition expert.


Ashley Peña Elsbernd, MS, RD, LD, CNSC, CCTD
IDEA Liaison, 2022-2024

Ashley Peña Elsbernd, MS, RD, LD, CNSC, CCTD, is an outpatient clinical dietitian specializing in pediatric gastroenterology practicing in Dallas, Texas. She is part of the Diversitiy, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Cohort of the Academy's 2020-2021 Leadership Institute. As a volunteer on the DI Committee, she hopes to strategize with other committee members to help promote diversity within DNS and within the dietetics profession.


Cassie Brown, RDN

Cassie Brown, RDN, is a clinical dietitian in Dallas, Texas who has an interest in nutrition support and research. She is continuously learning in order to provide better care for her patients, and she is hoping to help make dietetics a more inclusive space for everyone!


Prasanna Navarasam, MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC

Prasanna Navarasam, MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC, is a Massachusetts-based acute care registered dietitian currently working at Morrison Healthcare. Her recent accomplishments include completing the DNS Advanced Practice Residency in nutrition support at The Cleveland Clinic. She is particularly passionate about nutrition in critical care setting and accurate diagnosis and documentation of malnutrition. She is also passionate about diversity initiatives and giving back to the community.


Sadia Shaukat, MS, RDN, LDN

Sadia Shaukat, MS, RDN, LDN is an acute care clinician in Camp Hill, PA. She is interested in Nutrition Support and Complex GI patients, and is very excited to be part of diversity and inclusion committee. Her goal is to assist with promoting diversity within the dietetics profession through involvement in this group.